During a severe nuclear power plant accident, the integrity of the reactor pressure vessel must be assured. In response to a possible fuel meltdown, operators of the current generation of nuclear power plants are likely to inject water into the reactor pressure vessel cavity to cool down the reactor vessel wall, preserving its integrity and avoiding leakage of radioactive material. This study considers the use of seawater to flood a reactor pressure vessel cavity combined with the attachment of a honeycomb porous plate (HPP) on the vessel outer wall as a way to improve the safety margins for in-vessel retention of fuel. In long-duration experiments, saturated pool boiling of artificial seawater was performed with an upward-facing plain copper heated surface 30 mm in diameter. The resulting value for critical heat flux (CHF) was 1.6 MW/m2 at atmospheric pressure, a value significantly higher than the CHF obtained when the working fluid was distilled water (1.0 MW/m2). It was verified that sea-salt deposits could greatly improve surface wettability and capillarity, enhancing the CHF. The combination of artificial seawater and an HPP attached to the heated surface improved the boiling heat transfer coefficient and increased the CHF up to 110% (2.1 MW/m2) as compared to distilled water on a bare surface. After the artificial seawater experiments, most of the wall micropores of the HPP were clogged due to sea-salt aggregation on the HPP top and bottom surfaces. Thus, the CHF enhancement observed in this case was attributed mainly to the separation of liquid and vapor phases provided by the HPP channel structure and improvement of surface wettability and capillarity by sea-salt deposition.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2018|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes